Cooking isn’t always quick, simple or clean, no matter what celebrity chefs may lead you to believe. If you’re a novice in the kitchen, cooking may seem that much more daunting, but it doesn’t have to be! Rather than having to dart around the kitchen juggling chores at once, follow these simple tips to save time in the kitchen:
- Dress appropriately
This may seem fairly obvious, but dressing appropriately saves you a lot of time in the kitchen because you don’t have to worry about potential messes made by long sleeves getting dunked into soups or dress shirts getting splattered with sauce. Instead, opt for sensible clothing and don an apron.
- Sharpen your knives regularly
Sharpening knives may seem like something only chefs would do in a professional setting, but the truth is that spending a mere few minutes every week doing so yields cleaner cuts and makes food prep a breeze.
- Tuck a dishcloth under your cutting board
Rather than spending time wrestling with your cutting board, tuck a dishcloth beneath it to prevent it from sliding around.
- Set up appliances beforehand
Whether it’s pre-heating the oven or just laying out the pots and pans you intend to use, having all your appliances on hand and within easy reach helps you save time and makes cooking less stressful by making sure you know exactly where your tools are.
- Figure out your prepping order
Before you even start to cook, quickly skim through the recipe and gather your ingredients. Usually, recipes will indicate which components should be prepared beforehand, so that the cooking process goes more smoothly.
- Clean your produce efficiently
Trimming your produce beforehand reduces the amount of rinsing you’ll have to do, and making ample use of kitchen tools such as colanders or salad spinners can make your job even simpler.
- Cut food into smaller pieces
Smaller pieces of food cook faster, so if you’re pressed for time, dicing vegetables or thinly slicing cuts of meat will lessen your time spent in the kitchen.
- Use wide, shallow pans
A pan with a wider surface area not only allows you to cook more food at once, but also means you can reduce soups and sauces more quickly since more of the pan is in contact with the heating element.
- Use a scrap bag or bowl
By setting up an empty bowl or plastic bag near your prep area, you save yourself repeated trips to the trash can as well as neaten your work space. No more worrying about stepping on the stray eggshell or vegetable peel!
- Label your leftovers
Labelling leftovers helps you to keep track of what you have in your fridge, so you know what you need to use up, or when to save yourself a trip to the grocery store.
By following these simple tips, you can save time and make cooking something to look forward to. All the best in the kitchen!